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Over half of the children in the rural areas of southern Rajasthan where Seva Mandir works do not attend school, and over a third have never been to school. Rural government schools are often far from tribal communities, and, when reachable, are often under-resourced, under-funded or, in some cases, closed. When they operate, classes are large, teacher absenteeism very high, pedagogic methods poor and very little learning takes place.

Education was the first area in which Seva Mandir became involved, beginning with adult education. It soon became apparent that we would need to extend our work to children, the majority of whom had no access to schooling and were illiterate. Our response today is to provide quality education for children who have dropped out of or have never been to school, or who cannot attend school because of financial constraints or

family obligations. Through our 148 Shiksha Kendras (bridge schools) and Residential Learning Camps, we offer 6,000 out-of-school children access to quality primary education every year, whilst our scholarship programme offers access to quality secondary education. We have also begun to work with government schools to improve the education they deliver. At a deeper level, by educating thousands of first-generation learners and striving for equal enrolment of girls, we are slowly transforming the demand for quality education among families from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, empowering young people to achieve their best.

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